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Team Teaching Tips. Brian J. English Ph.D. Director, Woosong Language Institute Assistant Professor TESOL-MALL Woosong University – Daejeon, South Korea.

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Team Teaching Tips

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team teaching tips

Team Teaching Tips

Brian J. English Ph.D.Director, Woosong Language InstituteAssistant Professor TESOL-MALLWoosong University – Daejeon, South Korea

Local teachers often complain of being unprepared to handle their (Assistant English Teachers) AETs and the AETs complain that no one really wants them or knows what to do with them.
Teachers are by definition 'solitary creatures' reluctant to share the limelight or 'be observed' by a colleague.
  • A successful team you should not feel judged or upstaged by your partner.
The Golden Rule

Never take anything for granted; explicitly discuss everything.

Clear communication on the part of both members of the teaching team is essential to the success of the relationship and the realization of your teaching objectives. Communication is perhaps rendered more difficult for teams made up of teachers from different cultural backgrounds with value radically different communication styles.
Define your individual roles within the team.
  • Honest discussion also clears up any potential misunderstandings.
  • Personal conflicts, whether they are gender-based, cultural or personal have no place within the classroom.
Analyze your individual strengths and abilities and determine how these can be used within your team context.
Consider what skills each of you bring to the classroom. For example,
  • Is one better at drawing or singing?
  • Does one of you have better handwriting on the blackboard?
  • Does one of you have more experience with a particular school setting or group of students?
  • Have one of you worked with this particular textbook before?
  • Maintaining eye contact with each other is critical in the team teaching classroom. You'll often need to signal each other for transitions to new activities, communicate when to bring activities to a close or modify an activity.
Circulating in the Classroom
  • One of the benefits of having two teachers in the classroom is that you can increase the teacher's physical proximity to a greater number of students and thus, hopefully, keep a greater number of students more actively engaged in the lesson more of the time.
Explaining an activity

Teacher A (leader) makes eye contact with Teacher B and asks Teacher B (supporter)if they have anything to add to the instructions. Teachers circulate amongst students keeping them 'on-task', answers student queries.

Transitions, Timing and Pacing

To keep the pace of the class going smoothly, teachers should always keep an eye on each other, and the clock. Having two teachers in the class can be a real advantage with time keeping. While Teacher A leads an activity or gives instructions, Teacher B watches the clock and makes sure that the lesson proceeds in a timely fashion.

Work together to make tests and assignments based on what and how you have been teaching to ensure consistency and fairness to students.
  • Evaluate students based on a mutually agreed up system.
  • Keep up your communication with frequent checks of how you are progressing, always keeping in mind the objectives you set out together.
  • Work together to change things that are not working as you go along